Table of Contents
The Sydney Bushwalker February 1941, No. 74
A Monthly Bulletin devoted to matters of interest to The Sydney Bush Walkers, 5 Hamilton Street, Sydney. Price 3d.
|Acting Business Manager and Production||Brian Harvey|
|Subscriptions: Ordinary||Doreen Harris|
|Subscriptions: “On Service”||Grace Jolly.|
|Other Members of the Publication Staff.||Merle Hamilton, Mary Stoddart|
|Notice to Cash Customers||1|
|A Letter to the Editor - Lone Walking||“Walksaloan”||2|
|Another Letter to the Editor - Clyde Country||C.D.A.Roberts||3|
|Re-unions in Retrospect||5|
|At Our Own Meeting||6|
|More Climbing in N.Z.||Dot English||7|
|Song of a Summer Night||M.S.||10|
|1941 Swimming Carnival - Announcement||10|
|From Here, There and Everywhere||11|
|Gippsland's Big Trees||John Manson||14|
|Jack's Bird Episode||“Tired Tiger”||15|
|Memory Corner - “Era”||16|
Notice to Cash Customers
Owing to the high cost of paper, the Acting Business Manager has deemed it expedient to print a limited quantity of magazines, i e. the average sales over the past six months. From time to time there has been a demand for additional copies above this average, and non-subscribers have had to be disappointed in finding the “Sold Out” sign exhibited.
It will save any disappointment if these cash customers become annual subscribers, as it costs no more - 3/- per annum will cover twelve issues, and the copies will be held in the Club Room until requested if you are not present on the night of publication.
On the other hand, if you want the news hot from the duplicator, 4/- per annum will cover postage also, and ensure a quick receipt of the magazine. Noreen Harris (“Tuggie”) will be glad to issue receipts and attend to all enquiries in this direction.
A Letter to the Editor - Lone Walking
“Dear Miss Lawry,
Your leader in the issue of May last year, and Bill Hall's letter in that of July relative to the de-merits and merits of 'lone bushwalking' interested me immensely, and, such has opened a worthy topic for discussion.
For the past fourteen years it has been my privilege to 'lone' bushwalk each and every Wednesday, except, of course, when illness or other unforeseen circumstances arose.
I definitely prefer the company of others, but, when alone, I find a sense of freedom far more realistic than when not alone; freedom to dawdle and amble along at a slow tempo when an otherwise 'tiger' leader would keep you on the move, thus giving time to admire what would otherwise be missed; freedom to step-on-it in 'tiger' six-miles-an-hour-all-day-bustle if you feel rejuvenated after the manner of the fellow who takes a daily dose of a certain brand of salts, rather than dawdle along at a slow strolling pace set by the leader if your spirits feel the urge for the reverse; freedom to go WHERE you want to go; in short, freedom to do anything which, at the moment, suggests itself and appeals.
I know of no better teacher of resourcefulness and self-reliance than this lone walking business, and the self-reliance thus gained by this means does not stop at self-reliance in bushwalking but also finds itself apparent in everyday life and work.
My fourteen years' lone bush-hoofing has been marred by one accident (apart from the usual scratches and cuts), namely, a sprained ankle, and the fact that I was alone made the situation urgent, in that I had work to do that night. As I carried no first aid kit and was on a dry ridge and had to cross two valleys and the intervening ridge to reach habitation the position was desperate; my resourcefulness in the circumstances might be of value to others who might sometime be in this spot of bother. I knew the cure but neither had water not a billy to boil it in; an alternative HAD to be thought out. A cool head and much brain racking resulted in my realisation that the main feature of the cure was alternate application of heat and cold, plus massage of the affected part, and I hit upon the following alternative. I spat on my right hand and this formed the 'cold' application, after which, I rubbed briskly with my dry left hand which supplied the 'heat', I rubbed with the left hand until it burned. After ten minutes of alternately using the hands as above the injury showed definite signs of improvement. Half an hour's further such treatment cured the injury, but I confess that the long rubbing wearied me. And so, lone walking has taught me the truth of the fact that necessity is certainly the mother of invention.
I trust that I have not branded myself as selfish by my confession in this letter; I would rush the chance of a topographically interested bushwalker to accompany me each Wednesday, but topographers, especially those with Wednesday free, are very, very difficult to locate.
Another Letter to the Editor - Clyde Country
Both the title and the subject of Doreen Helmrichts article “Exploring a New World” in the January number of “The Sydney Bushwalker” brought back vivid memories of just two years ago, when Herb. Freeman (of the Bushlanders Club), “Zecho” Fitzhardinge, Bruce Elder and myself (of the Coast and Mountain Walkers) spent eight arduous days in the Clyde country.
Since then I have often wondered why this district is not more often visited, explored and, mapped by bushwalkers. Fairly good maps are available of the eastern watershed, which includes an unusual variety of scenery in comparatively small area; but the rugged western slopes are practically unmapped and are little known even to the local cattlemen.
My clearest recollection is of Old Yadboro - Doreen's “deserted farmhouse”. It is all she says of it and more. It would be useless for me to attempt to describe it - only those who have beheld the graceful lines of the Pigeon House Mountain silhouetted above the hills; who have looked up at the towering bulk of The Castle; have stopped and pondered by the reflections in the long, still reaches of the Clyde; have seen the old, deserted homestead on the hillock beyond the fruit trees, and felt the grip of an untold story of days now past - only they can know the feeling that Old Yadboro inspires.
Mention of the track along the Boyne brings back memories of deep, silent pools, sleeping under a canopy of trees, luxuriant in the rich, black soil. When we were there, the coachwoods were in bloom, their delicate pink blossoms shown off perfectly against the sombre greens of the surrounding foliage. Nature is to be found in her most peaceful mood along the Boyne.
Then there is the view from the summit of the Pigeon House - easily the best cycloramic view I have ever seen. The wild country to the west; miles of coast and estuary to the east. The panoramic photographer's paradise!
All these are mentioned by Doreen. But it is of the western watershed that I wish to write. “So far as I know (and I have made pretty comprehensive inquiries), we are the only bushwalking party that has penetrated it. All the available maps are practically blank, though Herb, made a fairly comprehensive sketch map of the locality we traversed.
Our object was to get through froth Milton to the divide between the Clyde and Shoalhaven near Braidwood. Unfortunately we struck a record-breaking heat-wave which eventually beat us only a few miles from our goal. All in and disappointed, we had to turn back, vowing that we would get through yet. So far we haven't been able to again but, in the light of the knowledge we acquired of the country, I do not think it would: be very difficult if allowed four or five days.
The country on the western watershed is quite different to the rich eastern side and is very like the Blue Mountains. The northern sector is sandstone, with huge cliffs resembling those of Katoomba. In this area stands The Castle. It is an immense lump of rock, surrounded by vertical cliffs and has never been climbed. The area on top is quite considerable, and is a veritable “lost world”.
Southwards from The Castle, the ranges are mostly composed of quartzite, and are much the same as the familiar ridges of the southern Blue Mountains. The range we attempted to follow was broken by deep and heart-breaking saddles, but we sighted others that looked rather more promising.
We followed Yadboro and Wog Wog Creeks right into the heart of the mountains, and found the going along them easy so long as we kept to the cattle pads, which did not disappear until the creeks get into sheer rock gorges. Thereafter they are rough, and there is much difficult wading. The pads are mostly well above the level of the streams, for there are few grassy banks such as we know on the Coxs and Kowmung. Nevertheless, the characteristic lengthy pools, bordered by myrtles and ti-trees, with frequent casuarinas and tall gums mingled amongst them, are beautiful in the extreme.
High up on the watercourses the vegetation is sub-tropical, with sassafras and lilli-pilli struggling up through a network of monkey, lawyer and other vines. In these patches, which sometimes reach right up into the saddles on the ranges, we found welcome arbors from the blistering heat.
Myles Dunphy has suggested that an area of about 250 square miles, comprising the greater part of the Clyde watershed, should be made a National Park. It is ideal for the purpose. The area mentioned may seem large, but it is nearly all Crown Land and so would cost little or nothing. The eastern side is perfectly suited for the tourist, who wants varied and attractive scenery, with a few roads and a good number of tracks to make it accessible. The western side is too rugged for the one-day walker, and should be kept primitive and undeveloped for those who like to find their own way out.
Whilst our ambition to see the Blue Mountains made a park must be our primary objective, it is well to keep other areas such as this in mind. Not the least of its advantages lie in its possibilities of catering for both the tourist and the bushwalker, each in his own area, which would have clearly defined natural boundaries.
Meanwhile may I suggest that the Clyde country is well worth a visit.
C. D'A. Roberts,
Anonymous words of wisdom from a desk calendar:-
“Money may be all right, but you can sure waste a powerful lot of time making it.”
Reunions in Retrospect
by “Old Member”
“Next month is March, when we 're-une!” This statement was briefly tossed at me in the Club Rooms by a member who was really exultant at the thought of the Re-union weekend drawing near. I pondered on the word “re-une” and realised that it has a wealth of meaning and significance to S.B.W. members, who have, perhaps, added to the language a word that will last - at least as long as re-unions last - and that should be as long as our Club lasts.
The word, set my mind skipping back over the years and it came to 1934, which was my first Annual Re-union and the third held by the Club. It was a Re-union without a pre-arranged plan, but how tremendously successful it was!! At the Annual Meeting on the Friday before, Joe Turner appealed to members to roll up to the Re-union and give a welcome to the newly elected President. That was the germ of an idea and at the Re-union campfire At Euroka Clearing some of the lads put their heads together and decided to induct the new President. Looking around for materials for some sort of ceremony, they found a skeleton of a cow and proceeded to invest the President (Tom Herbert) with “symbols of office” which consisted of all the bones they could hang on him. Ernie Austen, with his professional knowledge, was able to name each, and as he conferred the bones be gave to each a bushwalking symbolism that was most apt. One bone (the humerus) was kept and has been handed on from President to President at Annual Re-unions, At all General Meetings of the Club, it is displayed on a stand in front of the President.
Travelling with the Bone from Reunion to Re-union I recalled the campfire of 1935 at Emu Plains when the induction became more elaborate, embracing both humorous and serious ceremonies. The “bone of office” was handed to the new President (Tom Herbert re-elected). In addition he received the specially prepared emblems - the flannel-flower, the clasped-hands, the boot and the map all symbolising the Club's- objects.
In 1936 we re-uned once more at Emu Plains. Wally Roots received the “bone-of-office” and the newly elected Committee strutted forth robed in white sheets and carrying their symbols - white lilies of purity. It was great fun and frolic.
The Club's own territory was the site of the 1937 Re-union, where Maurie Berry was handed the precious Bone, and the first megaphone drama - “The Life and Loves of Speed Gordon” - satirized the President, Committee and censors, and gave to us Queen Asyouwere and her millions of mighty Myuna Men. Very few slept that night as Jack Debert remained up all night howling for some vision of loveliness called “Dawn”. This Re-union was notable for the full roll-call of Past Presidents - Debert, Duncan, Chardon, Ritson, Herbert, Roots. They all assisted in the induction, of Maurie Berry, the seventh office-holder.
For 1938 “Morella-karong” was again the meeting ground of the tribe but the campfire was some distance from the old site. Maurie Berry was given the care of The Bone for another year. It was considered that the old site was better, than the new one so back to it we went in 1939, when Richard Croker received his first induction with the good, old Bone - now reeking with tradition - changing hands once again. At this camp-fire that extraordinary instrument, the “compatabilometer”, was used for the first time to test the various -isms, -icks and -ilities of new members. It will never be used again.
Now I come to recent history with a recollection of the 1940 Re-union. What a disappointment that the cruel fire god had devastated our beloved “Morella-karong”, and what an added disappointment that the alternative site decided upon was also visited by the menace, but, ashes or not, we carried on at “Acacia Camp”, Leona, on the banks of the Nepean. Richard Croker received the hallowed Bone and the Symbols of Office for the second time and fun, frolic, fantasy and good fellowship were let loose as of yore.
Next month is March and the Club “re-unes” for the tenth successive year. Once more we will go to “Acacia Camp” as “Morella-karong” has not yet recovered its pristine loveliness, whereas a site a little distance from last year's camp promises to be ideal for our Re-Union. With a fresh, grassy sward and a cool, gently-flowing stream we should feel happy, and the campfire ceremonies make us happier still. Let us re-une! The Bone must go on!
At our own meeting
Summer is not the best season for doing test walks, so it is, not surprising, that only one new member was elected in January - Ruby Payne Scott - although Elsa Isaacs was also present to receive her badge. She was elected in November but was away on an official walk, on the night of the meeting that month. They both received an enthusiastic welcome at the January meeting.
After considerable discussion as to the best way of getting the new Bushwalkers Comforts Fund into action, it was decided to appoint an S.B.W. committee to control it and to give that committee power to co-opt members of other affiliated clubs as well as our own members. The Hon. Secretary was instructed to write to the Federation telling the Council what had been done so far and inviting the Federation's co-operation as well as that of the affiliated clubs.
The following members were elected as the Committee of the Comforts Fund:- Mr.Maurie Berry (Convenor), Mrs. Joan Savage, Miss W.E. Duncombe (Dunk), and Miss Grace Jolly.
Our Delegates reported that suggestions wanted for date, place and organisers for the Federation's 1941 Re-union. Some suggestions were received and adopted for the date and place but we drew blank as regards organisers, probably because so many people were away on holidays.
The missing list of prize-winners in the Federation's recent Photographic Competition having turned up at last, the names were announced:-
Section A (Pictorial)
1. Ira Butler (S.B.W.)
2. Alice Ironmonger (Trampers)
2. Dorothy Lawry (S.B.W.)
Section B (Bushwalking Interest)
1. Alice Ironmonger (Trampers)
2. Tom Herbet (S.B.W. & River Canoe Club)
3= Marie Byles (S.B.W. & Bush Club)
3= Tom Moppett (S.B.W.)
3= E.O. Thomas (Y.M.C.A. Ramblers)
More Climbing in New Zealand
Part of a letter from Dot English
Glacier Hotel, Franz Josef Glacier, Westland, N.Z.
5th January, 1941.
…. Every climbing-holiday I have seems better than the last. We are having a wonderful time. The weather has been perfect for the whole ten days of the camp, which suits us well, but the guides, I regret to say, look out the door in the mornings and say, “Another bl fine day!” Alas, for their days of rest.
I have climbed with private, parties of 2, 3 and 4, and 6, and somehow don't much fancy getting round with 40 or 50 would-be Alpinists of the semi-tourist variety. However, they must all be weeded out at some time and this appears to be the opportunity.
At the conclusion of the first camp some of us have nipped across to the West Coast on the Graham's Saddle/Copeland Round Tour, and will arrive back for the Second ten-day camp.
Dorothy Hasluck will be at this camp and I will take heed of your warning and see that no rush climbs are undertaken. You'd be surprised how careful this girl has become! Not too much leaping from crag to crag, but always sure of three good holds before relinquishing the fourth – just like that! Our technique improves.
I must away to bed now in readiness for the next stage of the journey tomorrow.
It's only today, since arriving in at semi-civilization after ten days in the peaceful hills, that the wireless and newspapers remind me there is a war on. I had forgotten. The benefits of civilisation may be a good thing, but methinks I take more kindly to the primitive life. You should see the seat of my pants, patched and re-patched with every conceivable colour, mixing with all the smart tourists in the drawing-room, and yet - said pants are perfectly happy.
Down from Grafton on holiday and looking very fit, “Scotty” Malcolm started the year well by calling in to see his old friends at the S.B.W. but there were not many folk in that first Friday night so he left his good wishes for those he missed.
Another old member who has returned from the bush is Frank Deakin. He has been seen at a General Meeting as well as at Era. If he stays in town for a while the Club will probably give him a job to do.
News comes from Melbourne that Joyce Wilkins became Mrs. Dare Phegan on 30th November. We hear that her husband is in the R.A.A.F.; to them both we send our Good Wishes.
You have probably notice that Ray Bean has not been at the Club Rooms much during the last few months. We, too, thought he was working nights as well as days, but the cat is out of the bag now. At her birthday party on December 28th Miss Linda Pratt and Ray Bean announced their engagement. No she is not a Club member, not even a Prospective, but she does enjoy the peace of the bush as a change from the hospital, so we can wish the Beans “Good Camping” as well as congratulating Ray.
Arthur Salmon has just returned from, a holiday at Narooma, a fishing-resort where he became an enthusiastic horseman, and he has now started another three weeks' holiday at Orange, where he expects to spend all his time-riding!!!
Holidays were the fashion in December and January; parties scattered over the countryside and had adventures of many kinds. Did you hear of the lads who were marooned in Tasmania? And of Norm. Hellyer and his party racing a flood down the Shoalhaven? Geoff. Higson and his pals, after a happy but hot time on the Deua River, were looking forward to the next section of their trip, which included swimming through The Block-up, but when they reached the Shoalhaven it was up about ten feet, so they had to abandon their trip.
Then there was the party which was washed out by the cloudburst that brought the river down. Did you hear how one member was not quite quick enough to get out before the tent collapsed, and was rescued standing knee-deep in flood waters and draped with the tent like a statue before its unveiling? And about the other, unveiled statue that was seen at about the same time?
This cloudburst caused trouble to another party also Alex Colley's. He had planned an easy stroll down the Endrick, but they had to swim at each of the many crossings; in between whiles they fought a plague of flies, and returned like wounded heroes, all suffering from poisoned legs. Not so good.
With tales like these to be told, our editor should soon be receiving some good trip articles!
“Don't look behind just now, dear, but someone is trying to catch up with us.”
It's all rights they won't catch us, we are carrying “Paddy-Made” Lightweight Gear!
REMEMBER! “PADDYMADE” IS LIGHTER MADE!
327 George Street, Sydney.
We have heard on authority of the “Brisbane Courier” that Miss Marjorie Hunter has announced her engagement to Pilot Officer Jack Debert and that they are to be married in February. It sounds as though our old pal Jack is settling down in Brisbane. We wish the Deberts “all the best”.
Song of a Summer Night
Gently the moon stole into the blue
Deepening, darkening sky,
Encouraged the fainthearted stars to shine
And wink as they caught her eye.
Perfect as nymphs in ivory carved
In cool green leaves half seen
Like statues, the gums with smooth pale limbs
Reflected her pearly sheen.
She laughed at the creeks with bubbles agleam,
At her mirrored face she glanced,
With silver splinters she sprinkled the rill,
The moss with diamonds enhanced.
And so, she passed on her downward way.
The grass was wet with tears,
But the stream talked darkly of fickle moons,
And its buckles smote on our ears.
The Annual Swimming Carnival will be held on the weekend 22nd/23rd February at Minto Pool, Sandy Bend, Georges River, Minto.
This is the same place as last year. It is about four miles from Minto Station - easy walking. There is good camping and plenty of room. Firewood is to be had for the picking up - adequate supply of good fresh bath water also available.
There will be a good programme of races etc. Club athlete Bill Henley will be in charge of these arrangements.
L. G. Harrison, Hon. Social Secretary.
From Here, There and Everywhere
With acknowledgments to “Alpinesport” for December, 1940, where we found it, and sympathy to our fellow sufferers in the Auckland Alpine Sports Club, we republish:-
N.B. The following warning is issued to all Club Members:-
Camera-oea is a disease which has been spreading very rapidly amongst Club members recently and it is time that the disease was recognised.
Cause.- Unknown, but its victims state they are generally in search of beauty when attacked. It is contagious, being communicated by the speech. The ages between 25 and 40 are most liable, and the disease also occurs in the proportion of three males to one female.
Symptoms. - The seizure is sudden. There is an anxious expression on the countenance, and restlessness. Then the victim will rise, walk round in circles several times (he is suffering acutely), mutter 50th or 100th (his mind is quite feeble, but he is possibly counting the spasms of pain), stand transfixed, and if spoken to, will say he's waiting for the sun. See that he has a hat on his head, but it is advisable to take no further notice of the victim at this stage. He is generally not dangerous and, if undisturbed, will after a few minutes sit down gently and appear quite normal.
The hours of the day during which the seizures occur are by no means uniform, but it has been observed when several afflicted ones congregate a seizure on the part of one victim will produce the same state in the others, so that it is wiser to keep patients apart.
In some cases the victims finds it necessary to rise early in the morning having a wild desire to climb hills. He usually does this when a meal is almost prepared for him, and as he has no sense of time when suffering from a seizure is difficult to manage. A dose of fixing salts is then recommended.
Note. - Fixing Salts should not be given unless the disease is fully developed.
Preventive Measures. - Tramping should only be encouraged on wet days or if the weather should change suddenly and a pleasing landscape presents itself, talk about food to any suspected victim until the danger is over. Above all, avoid congregating in picturesque groups.”
We always understood that the Melbourne Walking Club was a “men only” club which sternly segregated the fair sex within the confines of The Melbourne Woman Walking Club, and only condescended to amble along with them on two “Ladies Days” per year. Imagine our surprise, therefore, to discover that the final item of useful information included in the Annual Walks Programme of the Men's Club is a list of the Full Moons for the twelve months!!! Or is it a warning?
The similarity of Walking Clubs here, there and everywhere, or, rather, of the characteristics of walkers everywhere, is proved once more by this Horticultural Lyric, which might easily have been written for our Club, but which actually appeared in “Wayfaring” the Journal of the Melbourne Womens Walking Club.
A Horticultural Lyric
The sweetest flower that blows
Is NOT as you suppose
The radiant crimson rose,
But just the Pansy.
Tho' some folk strive to mock 'em,
We love this tender blossom,
And in our Club we've got 'em,
They are our pride.
They climb not like Icarius,
Vast mountain peaks precarious,
For them the thrill vicarious
Doth please them most.
THEY do not couch their bones,
On hard and pointed stones,
What time a cold wind moans;
THEY LIKE THEIR BEDS.
When strong and hearty members
Adorned with packs tremendous
Do climb up heights stupendous,
With pride we swell.
When maidens greatly daring
Through forests vast go faring,
Nor toil nor hardship caring,
How we admire.
And when they stagger in
With features pinched and thin,
Our Pansies with a grin
Give hearty cheers.
Oh! ye who read this ditty,
Give ear a little bitty,
Preserve your Pansy pretty,
Your feats to sing.
Tent Pegs Paint the tops of all your tent pegs WHITE, then you can find them when pitching camp in the dusk of evening or striking it in the grey dawn.
Candle Lamp For a good candle lamp, if you can't afford a “Paddymade”, “beg, borrow or steal” a metal film container about 2A Brownie size and punch a hole in the bottom to take a candle. Then cut straight down the centre and 1/4 inch each side and open the pieces out to form wings, as per sketch. This forms a reflector and also stops the wind blowing out the candle. When finished with the light, just bend the wings back, pop the candle end inside and put the lid on.
Butter Coolers If you carry your butter in a flattish container lift your waterbag and place the butter container under the bag, with a stick on each side under the edges of the bag so it won't fall over. If you only have a tall butter jar, carry a second (unwaxed) waterbag; partly fill this wiih water, stand the jar in it, and hang the bag in a tree. The evaporation will keep the butter cool.
Gippsland's Big Trees
By John Manson
Very few people living round Sydney have seen a really big tree, and to a large extent this also applies to bushwalkers. You will often hear the exclamation, “Gee, what a big tree that is”, referring, to some large gum or turpentine. This tree may be tall in comparison with those round about but I wonder what the remarks would be if these people saw a really big tree. For instance, almost everybody is familiar with the T. & G. Building in Elizabeth Street, the height of which is 211 ft. from the footpath to the base of the flag pole. Now if the Thorpdale tree, still standing in Victoria, height 375 ft. were placed beside this building, even if you climbed the flag pole, you would not be able to see over the top of the tree, and this is not the tallest tree that has been measured.
Trees of 401 ft, 404 ft. and 416 ft. in height have been seen often in the early days of saw milling in Gippsland. Baron Von Mueller has recorded trees, many of which rose to over 450 ft. and the writer himself has measured trees of 302 ft. and 296 ft in the Cumberland Forest near Marysville, Victoria. This was about 1916. The big trees of America are supposed to be the oldest and tallest living things in the world, but on the figures supplied by the U.S.A. Forestry Bureau, which I quote later on, there is nothing to touch the White Mountain Ash (Eucalyptus Regnans) or the Red Mountain Ash (Eucalyptus Gigantia) for height.
It is hard for anyone who has not seen the Gippsland trees to grasp the fact that even a small tree, as Mountain Ashes go, would not fit under the Harbour Bridge. The weight of these big trees is enormous. The estimated weight of the Thorndale tree is 3,006 tons.
It is a matter of great regret that all the big trees have been cut and milled many years ago. Before the last great fires in Gippsland there was a unique Dance Hall on Gembrocke, near Ferntree Gully in Victoria. One of the very big trees has been cut down many years ago leaving a stump 20 ft. high from the ground. This stump had a diameter on top of 29 ft. 4 inches. The top of the stump was adzed smooth and the hollow centre filled in and the whole polished. Then a roof and glassed-in sides were added with stairways making a pavilion on the top of the stump. Dances were held there every Saturday night, the floor being the polished top of the stump. The writer has danced on this floor, which held nine other couples in comfort.
Below are some heights of trees in the Cumberland Forest:-
There are 27 trees in The Cumberland Acre Patch; the average total height is 266 ft, and the average girth ten feet from the ground is 13'5”. The tallest tree standing on the acre in 1937 was 301'6” with a girth of 20'5“; the diameter 174 ft. from the ground and just below the first branch being 3'3”. Two other trees in this plot measured 285 ft. each with a girth of 17 ft. Other measurements are:
|Height:||283 ft.||279 ft.||273 ft.||271 ft.|
All heights taken by a theodolite.
A comparison of these figures with those of some of the American Big Trees in the Mariposa Grove shows that the Australian trees top the American trees.
Figures from the U.S. Forestry Department Journal:-
|Diameter at Base||Girth||Height|
|“Grizzly Giant”||29'6“||93 ft.||204 ft.|
|“Columbia”||25'6”||80 ft.||294 ft.|
|“Stonewall Jackson”||16 ft.||53 ft.||265 ft.|
|“Nanona”||with a roadway 26 ft. wide through the centre -is 227 ft. high.|
In conclusion, the members of all bushwalking clubs can spread the gospel of re-afforestation and educate the public in the careful use of fire in the bush. Do not forget, “One tree will make a million matches and one match can destroy a million trees.”
Jack's Bird Episode
Extract from my Deua Notes. – By “Tired Tiger”.
Jack went off before tea on a little nature study excursion. When he returned it was to muster us together and, with strict instructions to proceed quietly, he led us to where an enormous black cockatoo was apparently demolishing a wattle.
Creeping forward inch by inch, and moving only when Cocky was making a noise at his work, we found ourselves close enough to watch a rather wonderful sight.
While Mrs. Cocky sat in one wattle and grumbled about the selfishness of menfolk in general, apparently outlining in most comprehensive language and vituperative detail the shortcomings of her spouse in particular, Mr. Cocky was tearing large chips from a tall acacia, leaving off now and then to swear at wifey when she became too abusive.
After some time and energy had been expended, Mr. Cocky, with a gloating exclamation, drew out a fat white grub, held it up in full view for a moment, and then — gulp! It was gone. Mrs. Cocky flew away in high dudgeon and presently he followed her, positively hilarious with triumph.
We looked about beneath his tree and found enormous chips which he had torn off with his iron beak, and on climbing the tree I found out how he knew there was a grub there - a tiny heap of fresh sawdust sifted out of a crevice - and he had nearly eaten the tree in half before he got it.
Jack still has those chips!
Previously published in “The Sydney Bushwalker” for December, 1933, was this Song Hit from the S.B.W's 6th Annual Concert.
“Put me on the train for Era
Pack me on the train for Era.
Era by the sea,
That's the place for me.
Put me there and I shall be
As happy as can be.
When I leave my work behind me,
That's the place where you will find me.
There are places on the map,
But I don't care a rap,
For Era's just the place for me.”
From an article in our February, 1934, issue, it appears that Bushwalkers' Basin was even then a rival to Era for Richard Ankers wrote:-
“Why, all this fuss about Era? Everywhere we hear about people Era-mad. We read about Stars 'going Hollywood', but what of (K) nights 'going Era'? Here is a rival song to 'Put me on the train for Era', and to the same tune:
'Put me on the train for Leumeah,
That's the place I long to see yer,
Off along the track, plenty in my pack,
For I'm going to eat it at the B.A.S.I.N.
Where the Punchbowl Creek just flows in
That is where we like to dive in,
So, I hope to see you, pal,
At our Swimming Carnival,
For the Basin's just the place for me.'“